Monday, May 9, 2022

‘Survivor’ candidate going into space on Blue Origin mission

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Big news came out of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin today: Survivor: Samoa contestant Jaison Robinson will be part of the crew flying on the company’s NS-21 mission. The historic mission will also include the first Mexican-born woman and youngest American to fly into space.

Here’s what you need to know:

On Monday, Blue Origin announced in a press release that Jaison Robinson, 41, best known for his fifth place finish on Survivor: Samoa, will join five other customers on the company’s 21st mission into space. Also on the crew is NASA engineer Katya Echazarreta, who will become the first Mexican-born woman and youngest American to travel into space. It is sponsored by Space for Humanity, a non-profit organization that describes its mission as “expanding access to space for all mankind.”

Blue Origin’s mission titles are representative of the company’s signature rocket – New Shepard, the first of which was completed in 2015 – and the mission number (most missions were unmanned, however). Therefore, NS-21 will be Blue Origin’s 21st space mission (albeit the fifth manned mission).

The 20th mission – NS-20 – was originally scheduled to depart on March 21, 2022 but was then pushed back to March 29 and again to March 31 when it finally departed. The duration of the operation was about 10 minutes, a normal time for a Nazi operation.

The departure date for NS-21 will be announced shortly.

Robinson is perhaps best known for his 2009 appearance in the 19th season of “Survivor,” “Samoa,” where he placed fifth. Robinson, who was 28 at the time, was part of the famous “Foa Foa Four,” which included infamous “Survivor” villain Russell Hantz when he first appeared on the show, as well as eventual winner Natalie White and runner-up Mick Trimmen .

Despite going into the Fusion at a scary 8-4 disadvantage, the four Foa Foa members were able to overcome the handicap and make up four of the last five. Robinson was the first Foa Foa eliminated after the Fusion after Brett Clouser, the only remaining member of the former Galu tribe, gained immunity on the last 5. Robinson went blind after Hantz and White agreed that trimming was a better one had a chance to beat Clouser in the last 4 immunity challenges than Robinson. As a member of the jury, he finally cast his vote for White.

In the summer of 2020, Robinson and his wife Jamie co-founded Dream Variation Ventures, a company that invests in a wide range of industries, including technology and sports startups. Their website states that they “place a particular emphasis on investing in companies with diverse leadership teams that have transformative vision, courage and stamina.”

Robinson also became one of the trustees of the NPR Foundation Board in October 2021 when he and three others were elected by the board to three-year terms.

The Dream Variation Ventures website also describes Robinson as passionate about “all things space related” as well as “extreme adventures”. It is also his dream to “one day see a sunrise and a sunset from orbit every 90 minutes”. Jamie Robinson, his wife, is a business consultant and has previously advised philanthropic organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Their website also states that Robinson “broke the sound barrier in a Mig-29 fighter jet, spent a week hiking in Antarctica and climbed the world’s highest waterfall in Venezuela.” He is also an avid diver, skydiver and zero gravity flight participant. Of course, the Blue Origin mission is very suitable for him.

“Survivor 42” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS. The three-hour finale will air Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

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